Monday, July 22, 2013

Life Lesson: Eating Healthy

For as long as I can remember, my mother has stressed good healthy eating habits to me. I rarely ate fast food, it was such a treat. I always ate baby carrots, cheerios and mozzarella cheese for snacks. Lots of salad, protein and a small dessert of yogurt or sometimes a snack cake.  When I got to college, I realized how many people did not eat a lot of fresh produce and home cooked meals. It was such a shock to me that a lot of people did not have or underestimated the value of healthy eating habits.

My main tips that my mother taught me for eating healthy were simple. Eat well 5 days a week and splurge for two, especially if you are exercising a lot or playing outside. I usually eat a lot of salad and lean sandwiches during the week. A lot of mexican and italian with vegetables substituted for bread and pasta. On the weekends, I enjoy cake or a good pie. By eating healthy most of the time, I never regret how bad I eat on the weekends. I also really enjoy the not so healthy food when I eat it because it is a treat.

She also made me realize that eating healthy does not have to taste bad. Find things you like and use a lot of that. I love spinach, tomatoes and kale. I eat it in almost every meal and it gives me a ton of iron and vitamins. I also love greek yogurt in almost everything. I put it in baked goods, dips, parfaits and pretty much anything I can find on Pinterest. That gives me protein, calcium and a slew of other health benefits. By having favorite healthy food, I can eat these and be happy rather than sulk over the foods I am not allowing myself to eat all the time.

Lastly, my mom taught me the importance of cooking for yourself. I rarely eat out unless it's a date with family, some friends or someone new. Otherwise, I cook for myself. I  love love love fried food and it helps me avoid things like mozzarella sticks and fried zucchini sticks, which are my favorite fried food.  I also tend to avoid processed food unless it's on sale and I'm hungry when I'm food shopping. (Side note: never go food shopping hungry. You will regret it on your hips and in your wallet.)

Healthy eating has helped me to maintain my figure and keep me pretty healthy at school. My challenge for you is to eat more healthy during your work week. Don't get take out and bring a healthy lunch. Only shop the perimeter of the grocery store and see how much better you feel. Simple changes can make for a healthier you!

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